Nice scouting there, 1997 version of Dan Duquette

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In the wake of Jason Varitek’s retirement announcement announcement (well, that’s what it was), Alex Speier of WEEI has a nice look back at the trade that sent Varitek from Seattle to Boston and set the Red Sox on course for their 2004 and 2007 World Series championships.

This is my favorite part, from Derek Lowe, who was part of that deal:

“I laugh about it now,” Lowe said in Fort Myers earlier this month. “When [former Sox GM Dan Duquette] got us, he thought I was left-handed and he saw Varitek and said, ‘Wow, you’re a lot skinnier than I thought.’

That’s hilarious.  To everyone except Orioles fans, who are entrusting that guy to bring in young talent to the organization. Hopefully young talent that is what their GM expects it be when he acquires it.

Jorge Soler hits Royals’ first home run in nearly two weeks

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The 16-31, last place Royals had a power outage lasting nearly two weeks. Entering Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Cardinals, Jorge Soler had hit the club’s most recent home run, a solo shot off of the Phillies’ Jake Arrieta in the sixth inning on May 10. That time frame spanned eight games.

Soler ended the home run drought, hitting a three-run round-tripper off of Michael Wacha to cap off a six-run third inning in the first game of the twin billing, staking the Royals to a 7-0 lead.

Soler, 27, is now batting .249/.303/.497 with 11 homers, 30 RBI, and 22 runs scored in 198 plate appearances on the season. He’s the only member of the Royals currently in double-digits in homers, though Hunter Dozier (nine) and Alex Gordon (eight) should soon join him.